10 tips for building your Twitter profile

Improving your Twitter profile is not always about the number of followers you have. You often see profiles of people with several thousand followers but look more closely and you will find they follow an equal amount or in many instances hundreds more. Look deeper and you will find many of these are spam companies who offer no value to them whatsoever.

If you want to maximise your ROI from Twitter you need to ensure your followers are predominantly your target audience and that their followers are equally influential so that every retweet has the potential to reap benefits.

You therefore need to build your Twitter profile to get people to listen to you. I’ve compiled 10 tips which will help achieve this goal.

1. Humanise your profile.
Ideally have a photograph. If you represent a brand then have a name attached to it. In other words don’t let people think they are communicating with a faceless organisation. Make clear that there are real people handling the account in the biog information.

2. Don’t dive in feet first –  Let your profile develop organically. As with most things they improve with age. Don’t assume you can reach 1,000 followers overnight. Spend time watching what others are tweeting and then begin to join in the conversation. Improve the
quality of the list you are following and in time this will improve the quality of those following you.

3. Do your research – You wouldn’t believe the variety of people who are active on
Twitter. From John Prescott to Lady GaGa to Stephen Fry there are some really interesting characters.  Some will be thought leaders from your field of work so do your research and seek them out. You’ll be surprised what you will learn from them.

4. Learn Twitter etiquette – Whilst I am not one for obsessing about following people who follow you, if someone Retweets your message it is polite to say thank you. Remember, Twitter is simply a conversation so manners you would normally have in everyday life apply here too. It goes for saying, don’t abuse people. It will not only turn away the person you are abusing but also others that might be following you.

5. Help people out – If someone is after some information that you might have help them out. Similarly,if you don’t have the information yourself RT their request. I have gained a great deal of coverage in national publications on the basis of building relationships with national journalists who tweet requests for local examples relating to national stories. Journalists have begun to realise the power of Twitter in gathering
news so make the most of this.

6. Tweet blogs and articles – This is where Twitter comes into its own. If you are
busy at work or have a busy home life it is not always possible to keep up to date with the latest news and opinion. I find it invaluable therefore when people tweet blogs and articles as it allows me to dip in when I want. With this in mind, if you come across a really interesting blog or article tweet it. There will be someone out there who finds it useful.

7. Use the hashtags – If you don’t have many followers you can build the number and quality of them by using hashtags. By doing this you will promote yourself to likeminded people who have saved that hashtag. Similarly, if you do post an interesting article or blog and attach a hashtag this will promote this wider than your own followers.

8. Contribute to hashtag discussions – There are a number of really interesting debates that take place on Twitter such as #nhssm and #localgovsm where people with an
interest in NHS or local government take part in a discussion covering a topic of choice. These are invaluable not only for learning good practice from other people but also for raising your own profile.

9. Keep your content relevant to your audience – If you are using Twitter for work purposes the occasional personalised tweet is fine as it shows your human side. However, simply tweeting about everyday things like what you’ve had for dinner or what is on the tv can turn people off especially if you are a serial tweeter. I find one of the most annoying aspects of twitter can be when someone I am following sends tweet after tweet of nonsense especially after they’ve had a glass or two. For me personally this turns me off so unless your twitter family is doing the same i’d avoid it.

10 Promote your Twitter profile – Where you can, promote your Twitter profile. If it is the signature on your email, your Linked In profile or even in your Facebook accopunt promote it. You will be surprised how easily it will get spotted. If you have business cards make sure it is listed.

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